05 February 2021

Emergency funding of £5m has been secured through the West Yorkshire Devolution Deal to support the region's economic recovery from Covid-19.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has agreed to unlock the funding for projects identified in its partners' local recovery plans.

The £1.8bn West Yorkshire devolution deal was signed into law last week (29 January 2021), after the devolution order was approved by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

The £5m in immediate support is being made available from the £38m annual gainshare funding secured as part of the deal.

On a per capita basis, it means Bradford will receive about £1.16m; Calderdale £453,000; Kirklees £942,000; Leeds £1.7m; and Wakefield £746,000. The funding will be used to support urgent cultural and economic initiatives across the region.

It follows a £13.5m investment in skills, training and employment support agreed by the Combined Authority in late 2020, which is set to help more than 10,000 people build new skills and access training or find work, over the next two years.

Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and leader of Bradford Council, said: "It's vital that we do all we can to support our partners and communities across the region as they look to recover from the awful impact of Covid-19. The funding we have secured through the West Yorkshire devolution deal gives us the flexibility to invest in and support economic recovery priorities right across West Yorkshire and will make a real difference.

"We're making the limited resources we have available go as far as possible, but if we're to properly support people, communities and the economy reach its full potential, we will need much greater levels of investment. We have drafted a £1.6bn recovery plan and presented this to government as an investment proposition. We look forward to a time beyond the pandemic when we can deliver it in full."

Following the signing of the devolution deal into law, the people of West Yorkshire will be asked to elect the first mayor for the region in May 2021.

Devolution is set to bring at least an additional £1.8bn of public investment into local control over the next 30 years, and give the five councils and the mayoral combined authority more control over transport improvements, adult education, skills and jobs, infrastructure, housing and regeneration, and the region's economic recovery.

£5m devolution funding unlocked to support recovery | Insider Media